Dave Mullen

The Pyramid Of Success

Pyramid of Success
Pyramid of Success

I have had the honor of speaking with Coach Wooden many years ago and discussing his Pyramid of Success. I have found it useful in everyday life, especially when I coach young people. Being able to pass on these principles is a passion of mine. I hope you find these a help on your life journey.

The Pyramid of Success is a roadmap to successful behaviors. Coach Wooden worked on the Pyramid for 15 years, defining the 14 blocks of the Pyramid below the 15th — which was defined as Competitive Greatness.

Later, Coach Wooden added β€œThe Mortar,” which are 10 blocks along the sides that hold the Pyramid together.   

The Building Blocks:

There are 15 Inner-blocks in the Pyramid of Success. We call these the building blocks. Starting from the bottom, here are the names of each block with a short definition.


There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.


Comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like Marriage, it must not be taken for granted but requires a joint effort.


To yourself and to all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.


With all levels of your coworkers. Listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not having your own way.


Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.


The Second Tier


Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.


Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve.


Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure but learn from it.


Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.

The Heart of the Pyramid


Mental-moral-physical. Rest, exercise, and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.


A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.


A genuine consideration to others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of others.

Nearing the Peak


Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.


Respect without fear. May come from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.

The Pinnacle


Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge.

The Mortar

To the left and right of the Pyramid of Success, there are 10 more blocks that Coach Wooden called β€œThe Mortar” – the left is referred to as β€œThe Force of the Human Spirit” and the right is referred to as β€œThe Strength of Human Character.”

Surrounding the top inner-block (Competitive Greatness) is part of The Pinnacle (Faith and Patience).

The Pinnacle


Through prayer.


Good things take time.

The Force of the Human Spirit


For noble goals.


To any situation. 


Proper judgment.


Determined effort.

The Strength of Human Character


Keeps friends. 


In thoughts and action. 


Creates respect.


Purity of intention.

In total, with the inner-blocks and the mortar, there are 25 words that make up the Pyramid of Success.

We call these 25 Proven Behaviors That Produce True Success.

Seven Point Creed

A timeless gift that his father gave him as a teenager was entitled β€œSeven Things to Do” – which Coach later coined as his famous β€œSeven Point Creed.”

  1. Be true to yourself.
  2. Help others.
  3. Make each day your masterpiece.
  4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
  5. Make friendship a fine art.
  6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  7. Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
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my certifications

  • Dale Carnegie Human Relations & Public Speaking Course 1987
  • Dale Carnegie Management Course 1987
  • Simi Valley Unified School District Coaching Certificate 2014

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Dave Mullen

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